Guess what, Columbus renters – there is some good news on the horizon. A newly updated law protecting tenants will take effect this month! That means that there is less to fear as renters in the city.
Now, landlords cannot evict tenants for simply making complaints about issues with housing. Instead, landlords will have to provide explanations for why they want to evict renters who have complained about increases in rent or conditions with housing.
Franklin County wins for the most evictions filed yearly in the state of Ohio – over 18,000. Currently, landlords are at the advantage. Why? Due to the high demand for rentals and the gaps in affordable housing, says attorney Melissa Benson, of Legal Aid Society of Columbus.
Benson noted that it was difficult to enforce laws for landlords, as landlords would avoid making repairs by simply evicting their month to month tenants if they reported the issues. When there are no tenants, landlords wouldn’t receive violations and therefore wouldn’t have violations. Benson said: “Essentially the case gets closed.”
Columbus renters and housing advocates are hopeful that the updated law will begin to fix this issue. Dimitri Hatzifotinos, an attorney who gave testimony on part of the Columbus Apartment Association stated: “Responsible landlords who are members of CAA work hard to keep residents stably housed. From our perspective, evictions are actions of last resort.”
Now, housing advocates say that the law makes it easier to file charges against landlords who retaliate in this way. So, it is imperative that renters understand their rights and the protections that the law now has for them.
Hopefully this leads to better housing conditions and better relationships between landlords and Columbus renters. After the law takes effect, the city can better understand the benefits of the changes.